I guess it is required...
The search on wikipedia is awful
The Wikimedia Foundation has finally disclosed details of its controversial Knowledge Engine grant – and it confirms that Wikipedia is getting seriously into search, despite Jimmy Wales' categorical denial that WMF is “doing a Google”. Wikimedia’s reluctance to detail the restricted grant, from the Knight Foundation, was a …
"But then the current front-page to Wikipedia is Google."
Indeed. Has anyone ever typed wikipedia.com into the address bar first, then searched for their desired article?
When you Google the search term a nice box of info usually appears next to the results, sometimes pulled from Wikipedia.
Close enough - I just type 'en' and it auto-completes in an excellently plain non-awesome way.
The auto-suggest feature on the wikipedia search box is an extremely useful feature and has the added benefit of suggesting actual article pages, rather than just presenting the user with the most popular set of useless previously-used search terms.
Maybe the problem is that people think that 'looking something up' in one is a matter of typing random crap that sort of describes what they are looking for and clicking on the first result provided to them by whatever default search thingy is on their phoneslab. No need to have a clue about what something is, google is my brain, I don't have to remember anything (etc)...
"Has anyone ever typed wikipedia.com into the address bar first, then searched for their desired article?"
Oh, I don't need to - I just type whatever into the address bar and the wikipedia result page comes right up, since Firefox is sufficiently retarded to insist always using the search source selected in its search box for address bar searches too (and I keep that on wikipedia). It's a bit hard to fathom what the f### is the use of a dedicated search box if it will only search the exact same source as the address bar would at any given moment (instead of having the address bar stay dedicated to, say, Google and the search bar selectable)...
I admire the Wikipedia project ideals in trying to bring free knowledge and there are lots of high quality scientific articles where folk with good understanding have gone to the trouble of sharing that information for nothing. On the other hand there is dross on there that does have questionable provenance and accuracy which does need to be weeded out.
I hope it does get better as there are bugger all textbooks for state school kids and public libraries are closing down at a faster rate than the British Pub.
Well, unlike Google, it's supposed to be a search engine for trustworthy information on the Internet, not just things that happen to be on the Internet.
Although Google, by giving Wikipedia a high ranking to start with, sort of used Wikipedia to help it partially perform that function!
Still, it sounds like they're aiming at something between what Yahoo! used to be on the one hand, and what a search engine, like AltaVista, or that upstart Google, is. Some kind of intelligent self-curating AI search engine.
Google has so wrecked their search engine with paid commercial content injection not relevant to the search that I sometimes wish Magellan search was still around.
I hope what ever happens to this effort by Wikipedia that we find it leading to a good search engine in the end.
Seriously, do we really need yet more 'crawler' traffic indexing the web?
Competition is good, but how on earth do they think they can compete with the established players in search...and, what makes them think they are competant to do it anyway?
Thinks:Hope they don't expect us to maintain the content of their index for them!
The Wikimedia Foundation would do better focussing on their core mission, instead of squandering their attention and money on irrelevancies.
Here's an idea: why don't they devote all their efforts to producing the finest possible free encyclopedia - there is a long way to go before they have got that right. Maybe then they could think about something else.
On Amazon unless it is music or a book their search is abysmal. Searching for computer bits is dire.
I managed to phone them up to ask what syntax/operators can be used for searching and not even a supervisor knew that you can omit red items with -red
A bit harsh, perhaps... but my introduction to Amazon was when they bought out cdnow.com back in 2001. I had been using cdnow.com since its exclusively telnet days and, to my mind, it epitomized the perfect merging of commerce and the 'net.
When Amazon came along and skinned cdnow.com's quite simple and intuitive search and cross-referencing tools with their 1D, early-Yahoo! type search, I was flabbergasted. I wrote several (pointless) emails to the CS department at Amazon to the effect of, "How stupid are you? cdnow.com search actually lead me to search more, find more and buy more. Your search just frustrates me."
Of course, as we all know now, the "Amazon Experience" would become the standard which every single ecommerce supplier tried to improve upon while simultaneously copying it.
And Amazon search hasn't improved much since 2001. I'd give them 5/10.
Wikipedia only searches for less than 50m 'articles', whereas Google has to go through a few billion websites and pages...so lets not compare and say wikipedia is better, its not..you know, they still have not come with a way to search through their own database yet?, you can do a wiki-by-wiki search but never a general search for all the 720+ wikis..and yet they keep hiring idiots every week and using more than $30m a year on "salaries" and yet can't build in 'internal' search engine.. pathetic :/
If the Search function does go head up against Google, and there is a revenue stream, will the tax situation change? Whereas Google is a "normal" multinational company engaged in "creative tax minimisation", Wikimedia Foundation is under a more favourable tax regime. Would they spin off the search operation to a separate company which then has to licence the technology from the foundation, to minimise tax?
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